Thursday, May 28, 2015

1940s quilt blocks from Nutley, NJ


This set of wonderfully quirky friendship blocks came from a seller in Connecticut, but they were made in Nutley, New Jersey in the 1940s. I don't often buy blocks, but these I could not resist. Here are some pictures. Enjoy!























Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day in the 1970s


Back in the 1970s, we said "Happy Memorial Day" and it was OK.


It wasn't because we didn't know any better. It was just a different time.


Memorial Day was a happy time for kids in the 1970s. The school year was ending, the community pools officially opened, and there were parades and picnics.


Children clearly understood the importance and purpose of Memorial Day. In the 1970s, every elementary school classroom had an American flag, and students recited the Pledge of Allegiance each day before anything else happened.


We made figures of Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin in art class, took class trips to see the Statue of Liberty and the Liberty Bell, and watched Schoolhouse Rock. By the time Soul Train was on, we were ready to go out and conquer the world. America was #1.


We knew what it meant to be American, had a strong sense of our roots, and unwavering pride in our nation. We were well aware of the cost of freedom; we saw it in the eyes of the men and women who saluted as they raised the American flag, but nobody dwelled on it. Perhaps it was still too raw, or maybe the grown-ups were protecting our innocence by being upbeat rather than solemn.


These patriotic quilts from the 1970s bring me back to the days when Memorial Day was a happier occasion. We were always indebted to the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom, but we  expressed it differently


In the 1970s, we did not have to make sure everyone knew the difference between Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veteran's Day. We knew, and we honored our fallen heroes with the type of festive, patriotic celebration they might have enjoyed. Maybe that's what they would've wanted. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

new camera, fans

Fans, c. 1960, Texas

Got a new camera yesterday. The old one is with a friend who needed a replacement camera while touring Europe. As if I needed an excuse to get a new camera after shooting the whole Quiltmania book with my old one! I got another Nikon, a very simple one, the D3200. It was on sale at Best Buy. First picture was the Fans quilt from Texas, which has been waiting for its picture since before I went to France.


This year is my 30th anniversary of shooting with Nikon cameras. My first Nikon back in the 80s was an FE2. Then I had an F3, and later I had a couple CoolPix point and shoot pocket cameras-- all film cameras. In the digital age, I have had a D60, a D5000 and now the D3200. They have all been great. When I get the D5000 back, I'm sure I will still use it. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Christina Cameli Craftsy Class


Fellow Portland Modern Quilt Guild member Christina Cameli has a new Craftsy class, and it is now available online.



The class, Free-Motion Quilting Essentials, covers free-motion quilting on a domestic machine, and Cameli has done some incredible work in this area. She has published two books, and will be teaching at QuiltCon 2015 in Pasadena.


Christina is a wonderful teacher. She is very personable on camera, informative, and full of great advice for quilters of all levels. To watch an overview and sign up for the class, click here.

Monday, May 11, 2015

"Collecting Polyester Quilts" in Blanket Statements

front page, the lead research article for Spring

Blanket Statements is the quarterly newsletter of the American Quilt Study Group (AQSG), an organization that establishes and promotes quilt-related studies. The organization holds an annual Seminar and publishes an annual journal of research papers called Uncoverings. When I first joined AQSG back in 2009, I thought about writing for the newsletter but wasn't sure I could write in Chicago Style.

1970s Tile Blocks, 100% polyester double knit

Recently, the editor asked if I would be willing to write something about my polyester quilts. Even though I am much more accustomed to writing in Associated Press style, I gave it a go. The article, "Collecting Polyester Quilts" goes through some of the intriguing points about later period, mid-century domestic quilts in America. The invention of polyester and development of DayGlo were two key areas of research, since the materials and colors were specific to a relatively short period centering around the 1970s.

1970s polyester Double Wedding Ring, California

Adding perspective from a collector's point of view, there are notes about values including changes in values during an active period of collecting over roughly five years. There are also notes about conservation work; such as the Moth-eaten wool patches on a mostly-polyester Double Wedding Ring from California, since replaced with vintage polyester double knit purchased from eBay.



Blanket Statements is a quarterly AQSG members' publication and is always brimming with great information about quilts and quilt history. For learn more about AQSG including how to become a member, click here

Thursday, May 7, 2015

"Exploring Layers" SAQA Exhibit in Portland


The Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) is having an exhibit at the AIR Gallery at Pioneer Square, 700 5th Avenue, Portland, third floor. The exhibit, called "Exploring Layers" will be on display until May 16th, and includes the work of Oregon and Southwest Washington members of SAQA.


According to the SAQA website, the Exploring Layers theme "stimulated members to create many pieces expanding the boundaries of contemporary textile art. This work explores many layers of thought and an expanded view of fibers as a medium." Here are some pictures with pictures of the labels after each quilt.


























Open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 6. Closing reception is May 16th from 5-9pm. Info.